Friday, January 21, 2011

Creamy Orzo with Peas for Presto Pasta Nights

I have been cooking with Giada DeLaurentiis for years, but until recently, I don’t think I realized how I seem to gravitate to her simple, yes tasty, pasta recipes. First I posted her Sciue Sciue, and now I am about to present her Creamy Orzo with Peas.

I simply adore Orzo. It is one of my favorite pasta shapes. And, as with Sciue Sciue, it is supremely simple to make. This works wonderfully as a side dish for a crowd, or with chicken or shrimp added for a satisfying main dish. Today it was perfect with just a few knots of the Prosciutto Americano that Ginny brought me.

Creamy Orzo with Peas
1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juices drained (I use Crushed Fire-roasted tomatoes for more flavor, and do not drain the liquid off)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season the orzo with salt and pepper, and serve.

This is my submission for Presto Pasta Nights, which will be hosted by Jen over at Tastes of Home next Friday!


Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Thanks for joining PPN! What a lovely pasta dish, I've learnt something new as well, I have yet to cook with orzo :)

Ruth Daniels said...

Im seriously into "comfort" foods and orzo fits the bill. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Kim said...

I'm with you on loving orzo. It's one of my favorite pasta shapes too. Creamy orzo is even better - good lord does this look good!

stephchows said...

mmmmm I don't know why I never make orzo!! This looks so good!

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Hi, the round-up is done and at my blog! Thanks again for participating 

The Food Hunter said...

I love orzo too..there's just so much you can do with it.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I love both orzo and Giada's recipes too. This dish looks deliciously simple and comforting, and there is always something that seems so "fresh" about peas.
Sue :-)

Claudia said...

That looks so good, and is it bacon I see on there? Would be frosting if not.

Alwayzbakin said...

Yum! That looks delicious.